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The Chemistry of Painkillers

How Painkillers Work

Sam Z

on 16 May 2015

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Transcript of The Chemistry of Painkillers

The Chemistry of Painkillers
The Chemistry of Painkillers
Non-Narcotic Analgesics
-Codeine Phosphate (Codeine Phosphate) Drug Information
Description, User Reviews, Drug Side Effects, Interactions - Prescribing Information at RxList. (2004, December 8). Retrieved May 16, 2015, from http://www.rxlist.com/codeine-phosphate-drug.htm
-Differences between Opioid and Non-opioid Analgesics
(2007, May 5). Retrieved May 14, 2015, from http://www.emedexpert.com/compare/opioids-non-opioids.shtml
-Dvorsky, G. (2013, October 25). A Brief History of
Painkillers (And Why They Work). Retrieved May 14, 2015, from http://io9.com/how-drugs-work-to-help-you-ease-the-pain-1452216695
-List of Pain Relief Medications. (2014, August 1). Retrieved
May 15, 2015, from http://www.emedexpert.com/lists/pain-meds.shtml#2
-Pain Relief Medications. (2007, May 5). Retrieved May 14,
2015, from http://www.emedexpert.com/classes/pain-medications-overview.shtml
-Paracetamol (Acetaminophen). (n.d.). Retrieved May 15, 2015, from
-An example of a Non-Narcotic Painkiller is acetaminophen
-Not a controlled substance
-Can be used for headaches or "pain of musculoskeletal origin"
-block production of prostaglandins
-acts at or near the source of pain (in peripheral tissues)
-lessens the pain signals sent to the brain
Narcotic Analgesics
-Can be highly addictive
If used in ways it is not supposed to be, the
medicine does not enter the bloodstream grad-ually, as it should. Instead, it comes in much faster, and all at once, causing a sensation.
-Much Stronger than non-narcotic--more effective
-Used for moderate to severe pain
-Block pain signals on the way to the
brain and in the brain

-Stop enzymes that make prostaglandins
-Without the prostaglandins most of the pain signals are not sent
-They can help to stop swelling, pain and fevers
-Can cause bleeding in your stomach
-Aspirin, a type of NSAID "is used to inhibit the clotting of blood and prevent strokes and heart attacks in individuals at high risk."
Painkillers and How They Are Made
We use painkillers to ease the pain of any injuries we may have. These painkillers block the signals of our pain at the source of the injury, in the spinal cord, or at the brain itself. There are many chemicals in these drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen which are among the most commonly known. A popular medicine, Tylenol, is acetaminophen and can be mixed with codeine.

While some components of drugs (like aspirin) are chemicals themselves, others (like acetaminophen) can be broken down even more. The first part of this drug is phenol, "which is nitrated to give a mixture of the ortho and para-nitrotoluene. The o-isomer is removed by steam distillation, and the p-nitro group reduced to a p-amino group. This is then acetylated to give paracetamol."
Just like Acetaminophen, the other drug in Tylenol, Codeine, can also be broken down. Codeine has a chemical name of codeine phosphate and is made from opium. It can also come from or be made by morphine by adding methyl.
Name Brand Non-Narcotic Analgesics
Name Brand Narcotic
Name Brand NSAIDs
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